This sticker is dangerous and inconvenient but I do love Fig Newtons

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Woody's New York

"I selectively show my New York through my heart. I'm always known as a New York filmmaker who eschews Hollywood and in fact denigrates it. No one sees that the New York I show is the New York I know only from Hollywood films that I grew up on -- penthouses, white telephones, beautiful streets, waterfronts, going through Central Park on carriage rides. Locals say to me, 'Where is this New York?' Well, this New York exists in Hollywood movies of the 1930s and 1940s. The New York that Hollywood showed the world, which never really existed, is the New York that I show the world because that's the New York I fell in love with. A friend said to me after seeing me walk out of my house in Hannah and Her Sisters -- showing beautiful black-and-white doors over on East Seventy-second Street -- 'Where are these places? I saw New York in your movies with foreigners and fans in Belgium and France and Italy. When I came to New York I wanted to seee the New York I grew up loving in your films. It's more beautiful in them than it is in reality.'

"The fact is, when I first chose to portray New York as a character in a movie in a significant way, in Manhattan, I made the film in black and white because most of those movies I grew up on were in black and white. In those films you would see nightclubs and the kind of streets we'vev been talking about; actors would be walking on Riverside Drive or on Park Avenue, or coming out of their houses with furs on and getting into cabs. And, you know, where Jimmy Stewart goes through the park in that movie [Born to Dance, 1936] singing "Easy to Love" -- the Cole Porter song -- is exactly where I placed the scene with Mariel Hemingway and myself in the horse-drawn cab in Manhattan, because that's where I got it from. I feel I owe nothing to reality in my movies in that sense. That's my vision of the city and I'm creating a work of fiction, and that's what I want to create."

from Conversations with Woody Allen by Eric Lax (p. 266)

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